This is the last of the toned paper paintings. I think it is a good exercise in negative painting, layering, and wet into wet mixing. However, I just don't like painting on an underpainting instead of sparkling white paper. I know some people like to paint the background first, but then there is no way to retrieve the sparkle that only white paper gives you.
The mat around the painting is an old mat cut into two pieces that I use for cropping. For some reason it is easier to tell if a painting is finished when there is a mat around it. It also helps us see what else the painting might need at the edges - and where the edges should actually be. And sometimes, it just plain helps us get rid of the crummy parts of the painting. There is often some area in an "unsuccessful" painting that could really be a nice little painting. So make yourself some "croppers", pull out some of those old not-so-great paintings, and see if you can find some good little paintings.